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MSU Hires Penn State’s Moorhead as Coach

Joe Moorhead, 44, has been offensive coordinator at Penn State for two seasons. (AP/File)

By Logan Lowery

For Corinth Today

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State has found its man.

Two days after Dan Mullen departed for Florida, the Bulldogs have hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead as its new head coach.

Moorhead has spent the past two seasons coaching the Nittany Lions’ offense and was named the No. 1 rising assistant coach in college football by both Sports Illustrated and Yahoo entering this year.

Last season, Penn State averaged 432.6 yards and 37.6 points per game. This year, the Nittany Lions are up to 453.3 yards and are seventh nationally in scoring at 41.6 points.

The 44-year-old from Pittsburgh does have head coaching experience at Fordham, where he went 38-13 and led the Rams to the FCS Playoffs in three of his four seasons from 2012-15.

Moorhead has also had assistant coaching stints at Connecticut (2009-11), Akron (2004-08) and Georgetown (2000-03) and was a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh from 1998-99. He played quarterback at Fordham from 1992-95 and one year overseas for the Munich Cowboys.

Moorhead’s hire was first reported by college football insider Brett McMurphy. Moorhead is expected to be formally introduced at a press conference later in the week.

Moorhead already has two staff positions he will need to fill in Starkville.

John Hevesy and Billy Gonzales were announced as the first two additions to Dan Mullen’s staff.

Both men also coached alongside Mullen at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.

Hevesy was the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach for the past nine seasons while Gonzales has coached wide receivers in Starkville since 2013.

Hevesy and Gonzales were already recruiting for Florida on Tuesday, stopping to see MSU receiver commitments Malik Heath and Stephen Guidry and offensive tackle Kwatrivous Johnson.

Additionally, Lee Begley also followed Mullen to Gainesville as director of recruiting operations. She served in the same capacity for the Bulldogs since 2011.

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